Water Supply Investment
July 27, 2013 | 11:08 PM
Yes, investments should be made - but in a portfolio of measures to increase water reliability:
1) Determine how much water the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta can supply, AFTER the environmental and in-Delta uses have been satisfied. (Hint, current science calls for lowered exports from the Delta.)Suspend any exports beyond that sustainable supply.
2) Improve Delta levees where necessary, to protect export water supply, infrastructure, farms and cities from sea level rise. This can be done for around $4 Billion dollars - a lot less than $54 Billion for tunnels.
3) Put a state of the art fish screen at the South Delta pumping plants.
4) Stop farming desert lands with poor drainage. And stop planting permanent crops where water contracts only provide SURPLUS water.
5) Invest heavily into regional self-sufficiency projects: water redlamation, groundwater recharge, desalination, conservation, etc.
Southern California cities get no more than 30% of their water from the Delta. They will be asked to pay for a tunnel project which cannot guarantee any more water, because it will have to be operated under the same environmental constraints whch have limited exports in the recent past.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Rogene Reynolds, South Delta